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February 6, 2010

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Pet carers gear up for busy festival

LOCAL pet hospitals are preparing for their busiest days of the year, taking care of cats and dogs belonging to owners who will be away from home during the Spring Festival.

"It will look like a zoo here during the Spring Festival," said Wu Ping, manager of a Baby Pet Hospital on Qilianshan Road S. in Putuo District.

Wu said they would be receiving about 12 cats and dogs every day during the festival, occupying almost all the pet cages in his hospital.

Most of the pet owners were residents living in a nearby complex, who would be visiting relatives or traveling around, thus not able to take care of their pets, said Wu.

"It's a great challenge to us as many staff members have to look after several pets at the same time and certainly we have to work overtime during the festival," he added.

Wu has raised fees from 30 yuan a day to 50, but that hasn't put customers off.

New pet-care businesses have begun to spring up with families staying at home offering to care for pets in their apartments.

Sun YiHui, a restaurant worker from Jiangsu Province, said she would offer a pet care service at her home during the festival for 25 yuan a day.

Sun said she had to work overtime at a local restaurant so she could not go back to her hometown this year.

Instead of living alone in the city during the festival, she had the idea to take in pets to provide her with companionship -- and profit.

"I love cats and dogs very much and I'll not miss my home so much if I can live with them," said Sun.

But Sun requires pet owners to provide her with certificates to prove that the pets are healthy before taking them to her home.


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